St. Matthew, Northwood, was recognized by the Arc of Baltimore May 7 at the organization’s annual banquet for implementing a Parents Day Out Program, an opportunity for respite for parents of children with developmental disabilities.
Parents can drop off their children at St. Matthew on designated Saturdays, trusting 16 trained parish volunteers and Arc professionals to care for them while parents dine out, shop, sleep “or whatever,” said Father Joseph L. Muth Jr., pastor.
“To us it’s only four hours, but to the parents it’s a huge block of time they desperately look forward to because of the demands of caring for their children,” he said.
Parents have commented on the relief the opportunity provides, he said.
Father Muth accepted a plaque along with Diane Krause, a volunteer who assists with the program.
“This is a new initiative for Arc and for us, and allows us to provide this service for families, looking at ways we can help the developmentally disabled young people become mainstreamed and help people get to know them, receive them and get to know their families,” he said.
Several more respite days are planned for this coming year.